With a name that sounds very much like a military UAV, the new FPV (First Person View) Spy Hawk RTF, distributed by Hobby People, is the first of its kind. The Spy Hawk is the first video-equipped RC airplane with a built-in airborne stabilization system. It is a complete
package including battery pack, charger, and a 2.4G transmitter with an integrated FPV video monitor. The 5 megapixel camera shoots live color video, and the airborne module sends the video feed to the transmitter’s video display. The Autopilot feature can be switched on and off and is very helpful during flight when the airplane is at very high altitudes.
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There are two versions of the 4-channel Spy Hawk available, the Deluxe version with Autopilot and video-recording capability and the Basic package with Autopilot but no video recording. Both are molded from rugged and easily repaired EPO foam. Though the plane is called a “Ready to Fly,” there is some minor assembly of the wings and tail involved. The wings simply plug into place and are reinforced with a carbon-fiber rod but the tail surfaces do need to be glued into place. A tube of fast-drying adhesive is included. The small 2.2g servos all come installed from the factory and the ailerons are fully setup with control linkages in place. The rudder and elevator pushrods need to be slipped through the short support tubes on the sides of the fuselage and then attached to the servo arms and the control horns. This only takes two minutes to do. All of the airborne electronics and video equipment come installed and are ready to go. The RC transmitter is a quality unit with precise, smooth gimbals, and digital trims. It is equipped with two short foldable antennas and has a 3.5-inch LCD monitor with excellent resolution and image quality. The spring-loaded sun shades pop up into place when you open the monitor cover. Below the screen is a row of buttons. The far left button (Exit) and the far right button (Enter) servo double duty. While flying the Spy Hawk, the Exit button turns the airborne stabilization system on and off, while the Enter button switches the video recorder on and off. There is a small micro SD card included with the model and it is used to transfer your video files to your computer. During flight, the two center buttons (Up and Down) serve no functions. But when you are setting up your model’s functions you use the buttons to navigate the programming menus.
The Spy Hawk costs $329.99 including autopilot, and $399.99 including autopilot and video recording. It’s available at Hobby People.
Don’t miss the full exclusive review in the October issue of Model Airplane News!